Teething is no fun – not for babies or their parents. Some babies’ teeth erupt with no problems at all but for others, it can end up being a long and painful process.
Besides giving your child plenty of tender loving care, hugs, and kisses, there are some things you can do to care for your child’s mouth during the teething phase, no matter how long it lasts. Remember, you can always contact your local Eagle Rock Dental office with any questions or concerns.
First, Be Aware Of Teething Signs And Symptoms
When your little one finally starts teething, don’t be concerned if they are more agitated than usual. It’s quite normal for them to be fussy and irritable because their mouths are hurting. The most well known symptoms are difficulty sleeping, a decrease in appetite and increased drooling. It’s also normal for their temperature to increase slightly when they’re teething, however, high-grade fevers are not normal. If your child seems overly cranky or has a high fever, call your physician.
In some cases, you may also notice that your child’s eyes are more puffy than usual. This is because certain teeth that are starting to come in will put additional pressure on the sinus cavities. When this happens, you may also see small rash-like spots. These will generally be localized in a few spots on the face. If you are unsure, please call your physician.
The age at which teething begins is different for each child. While the average time teeth begin to appear is around 4 to 6 months, teething can begin anywhere between three and 12 months. In very rare cases, some children are born already having a tooth or two!
A Few Tips to Help You Keep Your Baby Comfortable
Your baby may seem inconsolable while teething but here are some things you can do to soothe and ease their pain:
- Massage their gums. The counter pressure of your fingers can help ease teething pain.
- Use teething rings or toys. Even a simple chilled washcloth will work. Chewing soothes the baby as counter pressure relieves pain. When chilling toys or rings, remember to refrigerate instead of freeze.
- Relieve pain. Talk to your child’s doctor about pain relief if your little one seems to be having a more difficult time. Appropriate dosage of acetaminophen may be beneficial during especially painful teething episodes. Avoid teething medications that contain the pain reliever benzocaine.
When your baby is experiencing the toughest stage of their teething process, just remember what an important milestone it is for your little one. Teething, similar crawling, walking, and talking, shows that your child is on the right track in their development.
Once Teeth Appear, Take Proper Care Of Them
The American Dental Association recommends taking your child to the dentist as soon as the first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday. Once the teeth appear you should also begin brushing. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, start brushing your child’s teeth, even if they only have one tooth, twice a day. Since very young children have not yet learned not to swallow toothpaste, use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste or the size of a grain of rice. Starting young will also reinforce this habit when your child gets older.
We’re Here To Help All Along the Way!
Good oral care starts from the beginning of your child’s life. We’re here to help you each and every step of the way! If you have any questions concerning infant oral health care or teething, call or make an appointment with us today. Baby teeth may be small but they’re important!
We can’t wait to see your little one’s sweet smile!